Me and my wife want to move to Ireland. We are from Colombia and as far as I know, our best option is moving for work.

From what I have been searching, these are the steps we need to do. I need advice or some clarification about this process:

  • Get a job offer
  • Apply for work permit (Critical Skills Employement permit in my case)
  • After get a work permit, Me and my wife could apply for a long term visa
  • After visa is approved, we could enter Ireland

Are these steps correct? Or should I do this process first and then, my wife should start the process? Also, we need to travel with our pet, Is enough having vaccines documentation in order?

Any advice or suggestion is well received. Thanks


As @natalie-n stated, the only work permit that allows a partner of the permit holder to apply for family join visa is Critical Skills Employment permit.


I made it! I move to Ireland with my wife and my dog :3

  • I'd like to know if you managed to go there, I am a mechatronics engineer (oriented towards embedded systems design and implementation) with no formal experience in the field, who would like to work outside of Colombia, how was/is your experience?
    – Hans
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 18:08
  • 1
    Hi Hans, I will give you a briefly description of how my process has been going until now as I plan to make a post with full details when all this finishes. At this very moment I have an offer and a signed contract, I am waiting for a final document to begin visa application process. I have been applied for several offers for about a year or two. This process began with an application in October, last year. A recorded interview. Then a video interview in December. In January, they referred me to another position, got two more interviews, and after this I got an offer the past month. Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 2:54
  • 1
    Congratulations! You can post your experiences as an answer to this question if more detail would be helpful to others.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


Your steps are correct, but be aware that moving to Ireland as a non EEA person can be difficult. Moving for work purposes would probably be the easiest pathway for you and your wife to move to Ireland. You and your wife should both apply for jobs, as not all visa categories through work allow the easy opportunity for family reunification for non EEA persons.

There are 9 different categories for employment permit in Ireland for non-EEA persons-- and only one of them-- the Critical Skills Employment Permit allows you to bring your spouse over with you immediately. All other work permits require a 12 month waiting period. Meaning, you will be separated for a year. Have a look at this document that outlines the family reunification process in full.

If you fall outside of the requirements for the Critical Skills Employment Permit-- I think the best strategy would be for you and your wife to each seek your own job opportunities in Ireland, rather than go through the waiting period for family reunification.

Finally, as Ireland is an island, the restrictions for moving with pets can be quite restrictive, but have gotten more permissible over the years. When I moved to Ireland, I did not take my dog with me as it would be subject to a 6 month quarantine. It looks like this is not the case anymore-- and the full list of requirements can be found here.

  • Thanks Natalie for your response. Indeed, in my case, as embedded software engineer, I would apply for Critical Skills Employement permit. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:00
  • Ireland can be a lovely place to live, but also challenging in some respects. I suggest to do as much research as you can before travelling and expect that life there is not like a holiday brochure.
    – Natalie N
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:07
  • You are right. I am realistic and I am not expecting to have "holiday-like life", but to face new challenges in a different context, looking for a better quality of life. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:26
  • That's the right attitude to have! I made it almost four years there and I am thankful for the experience.
    – Natalie N
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:38
  • I finally get an offer as researcher, I have a question, How did you know in advance that your dog will be in quarantine? It was an old regulation or you check with someone before traveling? Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 17:31

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